SANTA BARBARA — UC Irvine, ranked No. 1 in the nation, will face its former coach John Speraw and No. 6-ranked UCLA in the championship match Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at UC Santa Barbara.
The Anteaters (2-0) beat No. 7 Long Beach State, 25-20, 25-23, 25-14, Friday night to advance.
UCI has won the tournament title in 2007 and 2012.
Earlier in the day, UCI beat Cal Baptist in its season opener, 29-27, 25-22, 25-22.
Junior middle blocker Collin Mehring hit a perfect 1.000 and tied the UC Irvine school record for hitting percentage in a match.
Mehring led the team in the season-opener with a career-high 11 kills on 11 swings with no errors. The 1.000 mark tied Aaron Harrell who went 13-0-13 against UC San Diego in 2008. The junior also added four total blocks and two service aces.
UCI sophomore Zack La Cavera joined Mehring with a career-high 11 kills, an ace and three digs. Junior outside hitter Jeremy Dejno had eight kills, while junior middle blocker Scott Kevorken added six kills and ace and four blocks assists. Libero Michael Brinkley posted a match-high 12 digs.
Riverside 59, Orange Coast 49
COSTA MESA — Dayanara Armenta scored a game-high 20 points for the Pirates in their Orange Empire Conference opener Friday.
Jenna Arnett added eight points and 10 rebounds for OCC (9-8, 0-1 in conference).
Jalecia Wilson grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds and Jessica Johnson had 10 rebounds for the Pirates.
Riverside is 8-9, 1-0.